Logically and Morally Guiding Political Correctness

In the absence of a metaphysics which places morality at its core - it's been necessary for our culture to have a traditional conception of political correctness to keep discrimination in check. Without some kind of contraints on our language to act as a continual reminder to treat others with dignity and respect - our culture would not have made the advancements it has in terms of improving the rights and wellbeing of minorities.

However, our culture is going through a bit of a re-evaluation of its relationship with political correctness. And I can identify three causes for this:

One. It has started to be taken too far. Originally intended to protect the minority - certain minorities have begun to make unreasonable demands seeing themselves as victims requiring continual and overly dependent support.

Two. Having spent the majority of the last 50 or so years on improving social injustice issues, american politics has neglected the importance of social equality and the rich/poor divide. Therefore this gap has grown so far that the disadvantaged and poor are fed up with the focus on Political Correctness and rightly see an exclusive focus on this as part of the problem. Recognising this trajectory - this was predicted by Rorty in his book Leftist Thought in the 21st Century, 1998:

"One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. The words ‘nigger’ and ‘kike’ will once again be heard in the workplace. All the sadism which the academic Left has tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet."

Richard Rorty - Leftist Thought in the 21st Century, 1998.

Three. With our current metaphysics we're unable to easily determine the line between protecting what's good about a minority and validily criticising it from the standpoint of our culture so that it can assimilate into our culture. Whilst the Metaphysics of Quality doesn't resolve these disputes once and for all - it provides us with a beautiful logical language to discuss these issues.

For example, the MOQ provides us with a clear distinction between biological people and the cultural values with which they identify. One of those things does not matter and cannot change, but the other does matter and can change. Criticism of that which can change for something better is considered moral in the MOQ. Whilst criticism of a person simply, for example, because of the color of their skin is logically racist, evil and immoral.

So the general solution isn't to throw away the value of Political Correctness. As mentioned - it's moral and supported by the MOQ. Instead we should aim to solve these problems in a different way. Solving cause One would likely be with certain education reforms and certainly reform the way we have traditionally taught discrimination resolution.

Solving cause Two isn't to throw away political correctness but to simultaneously tackle social income inequality at the same time. In fact oftentimes, it's minorities who are economically disadvantaged as well - thus tackling both of these problems will likely take pressure off them as scapegoats for a suffering majority. This will also also improve their social mobility with a smaller wage gap between them and their neighbours.

Finally, solving cause Three would involve further cultural dialogue using the moral language of the MOQ to guide us in a better, moral direction.

Human rights don't logically exist.  But it's ok - here's the solution.

Well some must exist, surely? Nope. None. Not one. It's an uncomfortable truth but it's true. And the sooner we acknowledge this the better.

You could say that the articles of the declaration of Human Rights that all nations have agreed on, demonstrate that they do exist. But at a pragmatic level - words are so very easy to weasel out of. One country or culture says one thing, while another culture says and means something completely different. Who's to say something just isn't lost in translation? And unsurprisngly that's the exact problem continually facing the organisation put in place to implement Human Rights.

But beyond the written words of Human Rights that have been translated into hundreds of languages - there's no way to logically say something is a right for all people, and something else, is not.

And of course we can identify the main culprit here as our metaphysics. We have a metaphysics which fails to acknolwedge the importance of values and morality. There's historical reasons for this but this is the situation we find outselves in - in the 21st Century. This makes world governing bodies such as the United Nations often impotent in finding agreement amongst nations about what's right and wrong and what a violation is and is not. Amd this isn't a problem that's going to go away. In fact - it's only going to continue and become more and more apparent until we start to use a language and logic which transcends cultures and helps to shine a light on the right, and moral, path forward.

Luckily the Metaphysics of Quality beautifully provides just such a path and language. It's an elegant, logical, philosophical framework within which we can make such judgements across all cultures and languages and say (generally speaking) whether something is moral or not.

This is the what Robert Pirsig lays out in Lila where he writes:

There is no such thing as 'human rights.' There is no such thing as moral reasonableness. There are subjects and objects and nothing else.

This soup of sentiments about logically non-existent entities can be straightened out by the Metaphysics of Quality. It says that what is meant by 'human rights' is usually the moral code of intellect vs. society, the moral right of intellect to be free of social control. Freedom of speech; freedom of assembly, of travel; trial by jury; habeas corpus; government by consent - these 'human rights' are all intellect-vs.-society issues. According to the Metaphysics of Quality these 'human rights' have not just a sentimental basis, but a rational, metaphysical basis. They are essential to the evolution of a higher level of life from a lower level of life. They are for real.

Robert Pirsig - Lila

It's really very hard to understate the size of these words so I'll repeat them. There's no such thing as moral reasonableness or human rights. There's subjects and objects and nothing else (See The Story for why).

But sadly until very recently the unique insight and beauty of the Metaphysics of Quality in solving this particular problem of Human Rights has been largely ignored by the academic community.

Of course that was until a recent graduate - Matthew Lafontaine wrote a masters thesis called - 'Human Rights as the Safeguard of the Intellect Against Society'. It lays out a very thorough and concise explanation of just how the Metaphysics Of Quality provides a far superior foundation for Human Rights than our current understanding and metaphysics.

It has been posted online and if you're intellectually inclined - I recommend giving it a read here.

This is a great paper by Matthew and I hope that one day the insights provided in it are recognised.

All going well - one day at the United Nations (or similar) it will use the Metaphysics of Quality as a foundational language of morality across all nations. From it they will be able to determine and easily talk about what countries are indeed being evil and immoral vs those that are not. Not from a he said / she said metaphysically unsound perspective, but one that has a logical and moral philosophical foundation which cannot be denied.

What's better. A Metaphysics which has a glaring fault at its core, or one which has a beautiful foundation?

A fundamental assumption of our current Metaphysics is that it’s possible to be unbiased. Want to find the truth of a matter? Well then you need to be dispassionate, logical and unbiased. But what does that even mean? Is that even possible? Can we really have no bias? It might be uncomfortable to consider but thinking about this further; unless we can be dispassionate ’objective’ view-from-God all knowing beings then it quickly becomes apparent that indeed it’s not possible.

This is the insight provided by Psychologist and Cognitive Scientist Paul Bloom. In the video above Bloom points out how impossible it is to be unbiased and gives a few reasons why this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

For starters, in a typical ‘scientific’ Subject-Object Metaphysics way - Bloom links the importance of biases to our general survival.

“If we weren’t able to make guesses(prejudices) about new instances that we encounter we wouldn’t survive.” Paul Bloom

But then he takes the value of them a couple of steps further - firstly pointing out how our biases and emotional prejudices allow us to care for others. And then secondly how it's best if we use our intellect to expand our care for others, in a reasonable way, to those whom we may have never met.

In Bloom's writing, we can see lots of harmony with the Metaphysics of Quality. Bloom not only provides insight on the mistake of an over-reliance on biological emotions but rightly emphasizes the value of intellect in moral decision making.

What Bloom misses however, is that his statement about bias actually undercuts the philosophical foundations of our current Metaphysics. It would be a cruel irony indeed that in order for us to understand the truth of anything, we must be dispassionate, logical and unbiased when those biases are written into who we are as people.

But of course we do not have to suffer this irony. Rather than using a metaphysics which sees bias undercutting every human judgment, a better metaphysics to use is one which replaces bias with value. Taking this change in perspective changes no data but improves our understanding so that it's infinitely better.

It might seem strange - but this is actually why The Metaphysics of Quality supports Bloom's scholarship better than our current Metaphysics. Rather than cut into the foundation of our current metaphysics it is supporting the foundations of a value based metaphysics. In modern day language - it shows that our values are a feature, not a bug.

But all that said - does this mean that there is no such thing as a negative bias? No, low-quality biases and prejudices still exist. But within a Metaphysics of Quality - the source of those biases is correctly shown to be low-quality values that need to be questioned and not simply an objective 'mistake' to be corrected.

We're trapped & there's a Ghost! Can you see it?

'Powerful people unite! Caring for the downtrodden, caring for the unseen - these things aren't necessary. They're certainly not reasonable. Fairness, equality, morality; these things don't really exist, so why should we care? Forget the poor, forget the downtrodden, they're not worth a dime.'

Ghost of Reason

This is a line of reasoning that shouldn't at all be possible. Seem callous? It most certainly is. Seem immoral? It most certainly is. But is it considered logical and intellectually reasonable? Sadly, yes. There is no easy way, without appealing to something outside of what could be considered reasonable for all people, to say that it's not justified.

This is clearly a failing, not just of morality, but of our intellectual class. Our intellectual class which allows for these ideas to be reasonable because it can't see that it's trapped. Trapped in a metaphysics which says that what's reasonable can be so, even when it isn't good or doesn't care for what's right.

In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance(1973), Robert Pirsig wrote about the existence of a Ghost of Reason. It's this ghost which is being ignored by our intellectual community and so it's haunting everyone. Everyone from Donald Trump voters to consumers who are on the end of uncaring, technology based, 'reasonable' decisions.

But the way to kill a ghost is to learn how it was created so that it can be put to rest once and for all.

So a reminder for all those who care - The Ghost of Reason is a legacy left to us by the Ancient Greeks. One in which reason and Quality became separated, placed in conflict with one another, and where truth and reason were left supreme. And this is why today we accept what's reasonable to be so even when it lacks care and isn't any good. This feeling - that something just isn't quite right even though we're doing what's 'reasonable' - that's the Ghost and it needs to be put to rest once and for all.

Until then, the demise of intellectual quality will continue and those out to exploit its weakness will wrongly gain. Intellectual values exist and are the best values there are. The lack of care from our intellectual class is the result of an unnecessary historical artifact that's undermining these values. So let's put an end to this and see the Ghost of Reason for what it is. When we do that we can escape from this value-free Subject-Object Metaphysics in which we are trapped and move toward a better, value based metaphysics which has caring and Quality at its core.

The moral struggles of now!

‘The MOQ provides beautiful clarity to the evil behind the fascist inclinations of Donald Trump as well as the media culture and neoliberal policies which helped create him.’

It’s evolutionarily immoral to incite fear when there are better, higher, intellectual, rational alternatives.

Fear is a biological emotion. Historically it’s created in response to a perceived biological threat. It’s immoral to overindulge in this emotion when there are higher, intellectual morals which can be created. If the fear incited is not supported by facts then an intellectual case has not been made. This is true of those creating fear as well as those responding unnecessarily to it.

When the media or our political class create or propagate stories whose end result is unnecessary fear; this is immoral.

When people voluntarily seek out media or individuals whose end result is an irrational and biological response; then this is immoral.

What the MOQ makes uniquely clear to us is that these are choices in the realm of morality and the choices made are immoral!

But people aren’t naturally inclined to do the wrong thing. There’s forces at play making them more likely to do so. First and foremost, people are struggling and they don’t want their situation to deteriorate any further. The neoliberal policies that are mostly to blame for the struggles have created disadvantage amongst the poor and the working class. It is this same class who are generally less educated and therefore less inclined to seek intellectual answers to their dire situation. This makes them prime for exploitation with irrational fears.

The media, whose final goal is to gain advertisers and make money, finds an audience with a fearful and undereducated populace. Stories which incite fear create short-term ad revenue. They are ran regardless of the risk they pose, or lack of long-term value they provide for the audience.

Furthermore, a political candidate who is out for personal gain can exploit this same media induced irrational fear. This fear of illegal immigrants, Muslims and African Americans is exploited by providing an assuring authoritarian alternative.

One of the most revealing things about Trump is that the greatest predictor for his supporters is how high they score in authoritarianism. This makes sense. If you’re afraid and unable to fully understand why you're struggling, then a strong social authority figure would indeed be appealing.

But such an appeal to social authority in the face of false threats and contrary intellectual facts is immoral, and in fact, lays the foundations of fascism. The scapegoating of other cultures and banning of media outlets only adds to Trump's anti-intellectual social fascism. This is unprecedented in American politics and poses a unique threat to the country.

On the other side, Hillary Clinton, as the Democrats neoliberal alternative will only provide further struggle to an already struggling working class. More free trade agreements will only create further joblessness and unemployment. At least in Hillary's case, there isn't the immoral fascist leanings of a Trump presidency.

What’s clear is that regardless of who is in power these struggles will only continue. They will continue until there are policies which return manufacturing jobs back to the United States or large re-education programs designed to bring the unemployed into service jobs of the 21st Century. Donald Trump apparently has such policies outlined, and has been able to use these policies to help gain further support. I just hope it doesn’t take a candidate with fascist inclinations for them to happen.